A recent joint initiative between three UN agencies is proposing to develop trans-ocean mini-observatories to measure changing seafloor ocean observables.
Public Relations & International Affairs of TIC announced that :
A Joint Task Force (JTF), established in 2012 by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, is examining novel uses for submarine telecommunication cables. With ITU secretariat support, the JTF is developing a strategy and roadmap that could lead to enabling the availability of modified 'green' submarine cable systems equipped with scientific sensors (such as temperature, pressure and acceleration) for climate monitoring and disaster risk reduction (particularly tsunamis). If successful and needing support from industry and regulatory bodies, a wide network of mini-observatories could be established at many places across the world's ocean floors to measure these important parameters accurately over several decades. The initiative addresses two main issues: a) the need for sustained climate-quality data from the sparsely observed deep oceans and continental slopes but extending into coastal waters; and b) the desire to increase the reliability and integrity of the global tsunami warning networks. Presently, plans are being developed to launch a pilot project with the active involvement of cable industry players and existing ocean observatory researchers.